A lovely day in NH. We went to the creek today--always a favorite place. A few Splashlings mermaids joined us, and L&G did their best to make them little boats out of pieces of bark. (This was only marginally successful.)
We went out for ice cream after lunch, and on the way home we stopped at Dollar General so I could buy a few supplies to make better Splashlings boats. The only thing I ended up really needing was a pool noodle--sliced into segments and then sliced lenghwise, they were perfect little boats. I also made some rounds, which were inner tubes. We used all of these things when we went swimming (with Splashlings) at William and Nelly's pool later in the afternoon.
We had a big dinner Sunday night--William, Butch (Andrew's cousin, staying in the house for the weekend), Andy, Cindy (both also staying in the house), and the four of us. Andrew made gazpacho and I made pasta with roasted peppers, feta, and grilled sausages. We ate outside. The girls made s'mores at the fire pit afterward. After they were in bed, the adults sat out back with the fire pit, watching the sun set over Mt. Ascutney.
Andrew had to get some work done (gasp!), so the girls and I were on our own for some of Monday. We set out with Cindy to go blueberry picking, but the stars weren't aligned--the places we tried were either out of berries or not yet open for picking.
I read more of The Meanest Doll in the World to the girls after that, and then we went to the pond just the three of us. I've never been confident enough to take them in by myself, but with the life jackets and the rope and the rafts, I feel pretty well in control now--not afraid they'll drown, and able to navigate over to them if they get stuck in the reeds or algae or whatever. We stayed in for an hour and a half, just floating around.
We had another big dinner Monday night, the same group as Sunday plus Nelly. Andy made some pizzas, which were delicious.
Andrew and I slept poorly because mice were scrabbling in the closet and walls of our room in the middle of the night, and then very clearly running around the room, under the furniture. Country life.
We'd all gathered in NH this weekend for a purpose--the memorial service for Andrew's grandparents, in Massachusetts. We all set out early Tuesday morning and drove to a cemetery in Shrewsbury, where the family gathered with the ashes of both grandparents. No one is religious, so there were some brief remarks and then we headed to a cousin's house for lunch. L&G will remember the cemetery, though, both for their presence at the burial and also the fact that they both found handfuls of giant turkey feathers--pretty spectacular, if I do say so.
The reception was very nice--mostly people I've never met, first-cousins-once-removed of Andrew, some second cousins. The house where some of these cousins live is actually the house where Andrew's grandmother and her five siblings were born. It was built in the 1700s and used to be a large farm. All the stories Nana always told us took place in that house. L&G were really captivated by the idea that this house was where Great Nanny (as they call her) lived as a child. They peered into every room, asking if the things they saw (like a bottle of hand soap) had been Great Nanny's.
We stayed for most of the early afternoon. The girls did well--there was a swing hanging from a tree, and a kind cousin to push them, and only at the end (overheated, tired) did Greta start to fray a bit. We left with Katherine, Patrick, and Thomas, and joined them at their hotel for a swim in the hotel pool. Katherine and Andrew's college friend Rachel joined us for a bit, and she brought cool metallic coloring books--black pages with metallic markers--for L&G. This was incredibly nice, and the girls are wild about these books.
Then we headed back to NJ.
Home again, for just a couple of days before setting out once more for a beach trip. L&G played and swung and colored this morning. I dragged them on a very necessary trip to Target. I discovered that mice have taken up residence underneath our kitchen sink and chewed up all the paper towels (they must have traveled with us from NH.) We ate lunch and finished The Meanest Doll in the World. Lucia did some pages in her math workbook, and Greta practiced writing a few letters. We worked on yarn wall hangings. We dealt with some Greta whining. We ate dinner (random leftovers from the freezer). L&G watched two Elenas. I took outgrown socks out of their sock drawers while they combed water into their hair instead of brushing their teeth. Just another summer day.
|Tables set for dinner in NH|
|Nana's childhood home|
|Lucia sitting on a wall in MA from the 1700s|
|Car selfie, with beloved animals|